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Robert Ben Garant

DVD Review: Episodes of Silly Police Work Gathered on ‘Reno 911!: The Complete Series’

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CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

Blu-Ray Review: Overly Manic ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’

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CHICAGO – The CGI smorgasbord that is “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” is likely to suffice as a babysitter this holiday season as eggnog is made or holiday shopping is concluded. Families are likely to be satisfied by the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink mania that will work for toddlers hopped up on Christmas candy, but the film itself will collapse for their parents, babysitters, and even their older siblings.

DVD Review: Complete Series of MTV’s ‘The State’ Worth the Wait

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CHICAGO – It’s a vastly overused phrase in criticism, but MTV’s “The State” truly was ahead of its time. I remember seeing the show in its original broadcast on MTV and thinking it was like nothing else on television. Now it would easily fit in the comedy landscape. After years of begging, fans of “The State” are finally being given a complete series set and it was worth the wait.

DVD Review: ‘Reno 911: The Complete Sixth Season’ an Above-Average Set

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CHICAGO – The sixth season of Comedy Central’s cult hit “Reno 911!” actually bucks the trend and presents a funnier series of episodes than many of the seasons that preceded it. To see a show hit its creative stride this late into its legacy is incredibly rare, but with some hysterical guest stars and a few excellent cast changes, this is arguably the best “Reno” season yet.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • They're Playing Our Song

    CHICAGO – During the late disco era of the 1970s, an unusual musical opened on Broadway. Essentially a two person stage play, “They’re Playing Our Song” involved a songwriter and a lyricist who develop a stronger connection than just writing partners. The always passionate Brown Paper Box. Co. of Chicago has unearthed this chestnut with a bright and fun revival at the Rivendell Theatre through August 20th, 2017.

  • I'm Dying Up Here

    CHICAGO – One of the great new premium channel TV series, which piggybacked on the “Twin Peaks” return on the Showtime Network, is “I’m Dying Up Here.” Set in the 1970s, it tells the stories of fictional stand up comedians in Los Angeles, and one of the Consulting Producers and series writers is Cindy Caponera.

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